The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on June 12 set up a special research council on the nation’s judicial system, hoping to greatly increase the number of jurists and to improve their quality, according to Okiharu Yasuoka, a LDP Lower House member and deputy head of the council.

The council hopes to push for swift judicial reform because problems that require the attention of legal specialists are increasing and becoming more complex, he said. The number of those engaged in the three judicial professions — judges, prosecutors and lawyers — should be increased, he said.

Since the government should also make use of more legal specialists, the council is planning to draft a set of proposals to be submitted to the government early enough to make a budgetary request for that purpose in December, Yasuoka said. Japan has far fewer legal professionals than other industrialized nations. The ratio of law specialists to the general public is one to 6,258 in Japan, in comparison to one to 320 in the U.S. The corresponding figures are 488 in the U.K., 981 in Germany and 1,840 in France, Yasuoka said.

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